Friday, January 20, 2017

KatKnap How-To: Beaded, Twisted Headband

Beaded, Twisted Headband

A KatKnap How-To

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Last week, in my 5 New Crafts To Try In 2017 post, I mentioned that fabulous headbands could be made with some jewelry making equipment. Well, there was a reason for that.

Boom! I was so happy with how this finished! I can't stand store bought headbands. I have a unreasonable mass of curly thick hair that does not play well with... it doesn't play well! So I set out to make a headband that can actually keep my hair out of my face. Other headbands break during early use, stretch to being useless, or just plain fail. Here's how it's done!

Choose Your String

You want this to stretch, so no wire! I used Bead N'Stretch, and it worked great. Give yourself some wiggle room when you cut your string. I cut 22", and I really wish I had given myself some more slack. Cut three strings for yourself, and then on to the first clasp!

Choose Your Clasp

I went with a Clamshell Clasp. My camera isn't awesome, so I found this video by Stones and Findings so that you can see how to put it on. Put one on your starting end and save the other for the end of the project. 
I chose this clasp because they link together nicely, and it gives the headband a strong base. I thought about going with a classic latch, and although that would have worked, I want to feel like I'm putting on a headband - not making a necklace into a makeshift hair accessory. 

String The Beads

Beauty is certainly an important factor in selecting your beads for this project, but so is functionality. Will bulkier beads overshadow the cute little pearls? Once you twist them together, will there be beads lost in the mix? 

I used long thin beads near the clasps, five beads per strand, to make sure that the piece sitting right behind my head wasn't going to dig in or feel bulky. Then I threaded a clamping tube onto all three strands and clamped it so that those fifteen beads would stay put and create a base instead of twisting in with the rest of my headband. 

Make sure you're choosing small-ish beads because this is something that will go on your head, around your ears, glasses (if you wear them), and it's going to be adding pressure to these sensitive areas. That being said, let me show you these rocks I wanted to put around my head!

These stone beads inspired the whole project. I used a number of other strands of beads that I'll show you in a minute, and they came with the smaller seed beads that I used between the stones. I made my strand with three stone beads, and then I used two two tiny amber colored beads on either side of a small, dark brown, glass bead as my spacer. All of the stones jammed together looked like a mess, so the spacer between every three stones really helped make it look more like something to wear instead of just gravel. 

To add some contrast to this rock collection, I used some of these gritty-looking black beads along with some pearlescent gold beads. I laid out a dark one between two lighter amber seed beads, then I laid a pearlescent between two darker amber seed beads. This gave me two spacer beads, a dark and a light, between each of my larger beads, framing in the larger beads with a contrasting shade. The picture doesn't do it justice. It really turned out marvelous. 

Keeping with the "all natural" look, I added some wooden beads. The pattern here was three tiny amber beads, one wooden bead, repeat that pattern until there are three wooden bead sequences together, then toss in a pearlescent gold bead for a pop of shine. I wanted to keep this strand simple because there was so much going on in the other two. 

Then I stuck the three strands through another clamp tube, clamped it shut, strung on some more long, thing beads, and added my last clamshell clasp. 

Now, for a twist!

I love this effect. It makes me think of river beds and cold waterfalls and, quite frankly, my vacation last summer to the Pigeon River which was so fun!

After you twist all of your strands together attach your clasps to one another and enjoy!

May muses whisper to you always,
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  1. I love the headband - it looks so good with your hair color, too. I'm gonna have to try making one for myself!

    1. Thank you! <3
      I would love to see it when you're finished!